Waxahachie Walk!

Until the Dallas Photo Walk group took a walk around Waxahachie, I’d never been to the groovy little downtown before. Until that Saturday, I’d only ever been to the collection of fields outside of town that convert to the Scarborough Faire for a couple of months every spring. It’s actually a quaint little downtown, and Waxahachie is the Ellis County seat, so there’s a nice old courthouse with a square and all the junk antique stores and whatnot that your heart desires, or nearly so. In short, the weather was lovely, the people friendly, and it was a really good time.

I was mildly surprised to find quite a few film shooters in the group (5 of 13 or so). The margin was much wider back at the Dallas Zoo walk, with probably 25 digital shooters and just me and maybe one other shooting film. This time, there were TLRs, half frames, rangefinders, and even an RZ67 on display . It was really quite refreshing.

We met up and made a couple of laps around the courthouse, then went down some side streets and alleys and all.

After a bit, we split up into two groups, one more or less following Mr. Holga, the other tagging along with Mark Snaps. I tend to stray from groups, so I often bugged out and went some other way, and I ended up going back and forth from the north side to the south side, and from the east side to the west size several times, alternating between the groups, more or less.

Downtown Waxahachie is in a sort of liminal state, somewhere between the derelict abandonment of downtown Gainesville and the see-and-be-seen commercialism of downtown Denton . Waxahachie has some of the junk stores and abandoned storefronts of Gainesville, with the coffee shops and boutiques of Denton, and it seems on an upward trend. As I said about Denton before, good for the town, if bad for my sense of nostalgia and longing for home.

 

Looking back at my records, now, I see that the two rolls of FPP 320T (Kodak Vision 3) that I developed the next day were the 29th and 30th rolls I put through that batch of Tetanol chemicals… I didn’t remember shooting that much. In fact, I was sure that I slacked off over the summer, but there it was: chemicals mixed on 6/3 and 30 rolls put developed between then and 9/19. 28 rolls of 35mm and 2 of 120.

I added 30 seconds to the dev time starting about roll 20, and added another 15-30 seconds for this batch (and maybe for the previous one as well). I think my developer might’ve been a bit hot, and the Tungsten balanced film came out fine in daylight with no correction, so the film likely experienced some color shifts in development, but 30 rolls is pretty good, and right up at the high point of successful attempts, as far as I know. If I start feeling frisky, I might post one shot from every develop session or something, to see if there’s a pattern of degradation…

Anyway. The ancient chemicals and hot developer probably added to the grain, though the FPP literature warns that “Kodak Vision 320T will deliver muted colors and enhanced grain.”

And enhanced grain is right! Sheesh. It’s probably amplified by some underexposure in this one of Mark and his TLR, but still. Lovely, I guess, if you like that sort of thing.

So: up, down, and around Waxahachie for a couple of hours, and all kinds of stuff to see. I avoided photographing the mediocre graffiti, but couldn’t resist some of the back alleyways and strange randomness I encountered.

I’m not sure why I shot so much portrait format. I was just feeling it, I guess.

After the walk, we retired to Pop’s Burger Stand. I had a nice Veggie Burger with onion rings, and a lovely homemade Root Beer in a proper frosty mug. It was a bit spendy, but probably worth it, and I got a nice picture of one of the other photowalk guys; he got a nice picture of me too.

So that was the Waxahachie Walk: good times! The DPW Fall Photowalk is scheduled for the afternoon of December 9 in downtown McKinney, TX. It should be a good time, and I hope I can make it. Maghrib is expected around 5:20 and the McKinney Masjid is 12-15 minutes away, so I’ll have to skip dinner with the group, probably, but the walk shouldn’t be a problem. InshaAllah I’ll make it.

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